Sergio Leone Web Board
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 18, 2017, 10:57:48 AM
Home Help Search Calendar Login Register
News:


+  Sergio Leone Web Board
|-+  Films of Sergio Leone
| |-+  Other Films (Moderators: cigar joe, moviesceleton, Dust Devil)
| | |-+  The Wind (1928)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
Pages: [1] 2 Go Down Print
Author Topic: The Wind (1928)  (Read 7361 times)
Dust Devil
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3617


Smoke Tuco, so you can't bullshit!


View Profile
« on: October 19, 2009, 09:07:16 PM »


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0019585/


Director: Victor Sjöström
Writers: Dorothy Scarborough (novel), and Frances Marion (scenario)

Cast:
Lillian Gish           ...    Letty
Lars Hanson           ...    Lige
Montagu Love           ...    Roddy
Dorothy Cumming   ...    Cora
Edward Earle           ...    Beverly
William Orlamond   ...    Sourdough

Runtime: around 75 minutes


SPOILERS AHEAD (YELLOW TEXT ONLY):

A young woman named Letty (Lillian Gish) moves from Virginia to an extremely windy place somewhere in West Texas to live with her cousin Beverly (Edward Earle), and his family. On the train there, she meets a local named Roddy (Montagu Love), who warns her to better return back East or she'll soon go insane from the raging wind. She doesn't pay much attention to him thinking she'll have a great life on her cousin's ranch. But, her dreams fall short... She loves her cousin as a brother, because they grew up happily together, but soon has to leave his ranch after (yet) a(nother) clash with his extremely jealous wife Cora (Dorothy Cumming), who's furthermore fueled by the fact that their kids also like the newly arrived very much. Without a place to stay or money to survive she is forced to accept the wedding proposal of one of the two local blokes who proposed to her: one older named Sourdough (William Orlamond), and one younger named Lige (Lars Hanson). She doesn't really like either of them, but, afraid she could end up on the street, she chooses Lige. The problem is she doesn't like him very much; she's for some reason very scared and repulsed by him, though he seems like a really nice fella. A bit raw, but good. They move to his cabin in the middle of the sandy and windy nowhere. Already slowly maddened by the merciless wind that doesn't seem to stop, the young woman is soon put to another test as her relationship with her new husband soon deteriorates, when she confesses him she doesn't love him at all, as a matter of fact, she finds him disgusting. Being a good fella that he is, Lige doesn't beat the shit out of her and kick her out of the house, but he lets her stay with him, but is obviously mentally destroyed by this situation. Time passes and the wind continues to blow fiercely, Lige if forced to go with the other town folks to find some sort of help. Letty tries to go with them but doesn't arrive very far, and Sourdough takes her back to the wind-beaten cabin. Just by the time she menages to come back to herself, Lige comes back carrying a wounded Roddy. Letty now must stay alone at home with him, until he recovers, although he's just pretending. Roddy, unlike all the others, seems well aware of her situation and tries to exploit it. Luckily, Lige comes back in time to save Letty. Though he still isn't suspicious of what might be going on between the two; he just came back to see if Roddy's alright, so he could help him and the others round up and catch the wild horses coming down from the mountain. Roddy accepts and they go. The sand carrying wind continues lashing the house, the young woman, now all by herself, rapidly continues her descent into madness. In meantime Roddy, who deceived and left the other cowboys in the windstorm, shows up at her door. He attempts to force ''something'', but she rejects him and runs outside in the windstorm. He saves her. After the windstorm passes she awakes, but only to find Roddy still there. Roddy, now fearful Lige could come back and find them there tries to persuade the young woman to leave with him, but she declines his, by now very aggressive, offer. Scared, she takes his gun and kills him, followingly burying him. But the wind soon uncovers him, and Letty, with all the sand-wielding wind and everything else around, starts imagining he's not dead and he's coming back for her. While on the brink of total insanity, Lige returns once more to save her. This time she tells him everything, and the two, now in reciprocal love, decide to leave the forsaken place...

 

It was directed by the Swedish actor-director Victor Sjöström, whom most probably remember for his role in Ingmar Bergman's Smultronstället (aka Wild Strawberries), today considered a great one among cineasts. The lead role is played by the acting legend Lillian Gish, while the supporting roles are played mostly by silent era actors. The genre is hard to determine; the movie is set in the Old West but it's not a real Western, there are horses, guns, cowboys and other W elements, but it all seems rudimentary. The movie is mostly, I think, a drama, portraying the suffering of a young woman, but has also sporadic comic elements, and at the same time isn't very far from the definition of a psychological thriller. All in all I think it's fair to say it functions as an exotic mix, something that got lost in cinema after that initial era when they were less preoccupied with the boundaries of genres, and were willing to do whatever they thought was best for the movie. Lillian Gish gives the best performance by far, I'm sure it's a tad too theatrical for today's norms, but still very effective. Her appearance is charming, I don't know if it'd be appropriate to call her sexy, but she definitely has a lovely aura around her. The rest of the cast did the job they were paid to do, acceptably for what their roles were meant to be. The directing is often simple but the atmosphere of the movie is its strongest point; feels like an eerie impenetrable cloak of wind, sand and darkness amplifying the main character's uneasiness and descent into madness. There's a couple of memorable haunting scenes of Letty's psychological fighting with the wind, sand, the old cabin. It's really hard not to feel them and sympathize with her in her struggle to stay sane.

I'd definitely recommend anyone that could find it to watch it. An early masterpiece.


9/10

« Last Edit: October 19, 2009, 09:14:55 PM by Hordak » Logged



No matter how cleverly you sneak up on a mirror, the reflection always looks you straight in the eye.
cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Online Online

Posts: 12595


easy come easy go


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2009, 03:45:36 AM »

So where did you find it?  Cool

Logged

"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
Dust Devil
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3617


Smoke Tuco, so you can't bullshit!


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2009, 01:25:58 PM »

Regarding the controversy about the town named ''Sweetwater'' or ''Sweet Water'': I always thought it was borrowed (along with the character name McBain) from the Western The Comancheros, as this is the most common opinion among fans I didn't really have any reason to doubt it or search further. Leone loved The Comancheros, and most the of the story of OUATITW was assembled from material borrowed from well-known AWs; it's easy to connect those two ends. The second possibility was that ''Sweetwater'' was just a fictitious name taken cause it made sense in the context of OUATITW (water in the middle of the desert, you bet it's sweet, thus the name of the estate - Sweetwater). I have never ever heard anyone in real life mentioning the connection with Victor Sjöström's The Wind, until I read it on the internet.

Here's what Wiki says:
Quote
Contrary to popular belief, the name of the town "Sweetwater" was not taken from The Wind, Victor Sjöström's silent epic. Bernardo Bertolucci has stated that he looked at a map of the southwestern United States, found the name of the town in Arizona, and decided to incorporate it into the film. However, a "Sweetwater" — along with a character named McBain — also appeared in a John Wayne Western, The Comancheros, which Leone admired.

Now, as I said, I've never heard of this until I read it on the internet, and am therefore skeptic about that whole ''popular belief'' thing. I could be wrong, perhaps some of you here on the board can correct me, but if I've never heard of something, how can it be part of ''popular belief''? Unless, of course, I was living in isolation on a mountain, and somehow missed it. In that case I apologize.

Why is this important? - Because, no matter the ''popular belief'' part, while watching The Wind I was often under the impression something familiar was going on onscreen, and I don't think the possibility more from this movie was borrowed by Leone & Co. should be dismissed so lightly.

Here are some SCs from the movie that'll hopefully explain better than words:

1) In the very beginning, before any scene is shown, the intertitles say the following:







Although only slightly, already this reminds me of OUATITW, the difference is only in elements; in TW Letty (a woman) must defeat the sand-carrying wind in order to stay alive, while in OUATITW Jill (another woman) must become the master of the life-bringing water, so that she can bring life and prosperity to the dead desert around her. We also see the train rushing through the wilderness, fighting the nature, bringing civilization to all the corners of this planet.

2) Then as the camera goes in the train, we watch Letty (the man protagonist of the movie, a young woman from the East) being pestered by the rather assailant Roddy (a cattle trader traveling on the same train, later the main villain):



Here's the only mention of ''Sweetwater'' in the movie, and it's written separate - ''Sweet Water''.



After the short introduction, when Letty mentions the 'beautiful ranch' of her cousin to Roddy, he, obviously knowing what kind of place she's going to, starts laughing. This resembles old Sam's (from OUATITW) laughter when talking with Jill about Brett McBain's 'beautiful ranch' (the crazy Irishman thing).



Then he continues his jabbering, about the crazy wind that'll break her sooner or later. This is like story of the desert being an uncomfortable place for a sen(i)orita from New Orleans.















Obviously affecting the young woman the way he wanted.


« Last Edit: October 20, 2009, 02:19:47 PM by Hordak » Logged



No matter how cleverly you sneak up on a mirror, the reflection always looks you straight in the eye.
Dust Devil
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3617


Smoke Tuco, so you can't bullshit!


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2009, 02:51:02 PM »

3) Once at the station, Letty is not picked up by her cousin Beverly, someone else is sent for her:

The creepy station.



There he is!



Closer...



Or not?







No going back now.



A wild ride.



Note the creepy old character peeping from behind.



And smaltalk. Wild horses, iron horses, the nature, you know what I'm talking about?



The old bastard's really restless.




It's not the exact same scene with Sam and Jill, I'm not even saying that, but the similarities should definitely be taken in consideration.

Logged



No matter how cleverly you sneak up on a mirror, the reflection always looks you straight in the eye.
Dust Devil
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3617


Smoke Tuco, so you can't bullshit!


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2009, 03:21:49 PM »

4) Both movies have a female lead character that has to deal with men that see her primarily as a sexual object. Sure, in TW the story is much simpler, Letty has to deal only with Roddy and his intentions, while in OUATITW the complexity of the story compels Jill to deal with more men (this is probably because she is in the ''business'' already, talk about character evolution during time), but the psychology core is essentially the same.

Furthermore, in TW Lige is the woman's undesired lover; she marries him only not to end hungry on the street, while in OUATITW Jill sleeps with the main villain Frank to get what she wants from him; the future Sweetwater station. Another interesting psychological connection.

And the way Letty finally falls in love with Lige, the undesired lover, because he slowly grew on her... Doesn't Jill want to do the same with Cheyenne after Harmonica leaves her? Only Letty was luckier than Jill; who ends up alone after Cheyenne goes away.

+

5) Finally, this is a bit different but the irony is sometimes so evident one must point it out: both the movies were re-cut and changed by the distributors. In OUATITW, among other things, the ending was changed and the audience didn't see Cheyenne die, while in TW the ending had to be replaced with a happier one, with Letty surviving and leaving the damn place with Lige. Short video about this on YT (by Lillian Gish): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReqaIdfFu2w

Logged



No matter how cleverly you sneak up on a mirror, the reflection always looks you straight in the eye.
Dust Devil
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3617


Smoke Tuco, so you can't bullshit!


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2009, 05:07:49 PM »

So where did you find it?  Cool

On a lucky place, where else. Afro

There's the old VHS cassette in circulation, with the orchestral soundtrack that was added in 1983, I think, and you can find it on eBay for about 30 bucks. I know, it ain't cheap.

It was also released in Italy a few years ago, that's the one I have. It's very interesting because the movie has a haunting music accompanying it, that was apparently composed specifically for this release. I wouldn't know if this is true because I don't own the old VHS cassette, so I can't compare the music, but that's what the internet says. The music on the version I have is really, really good. Cold 'n' haunting.

Here it is:
1) http://www.amazon.com/Wind-NON-USA-FORMAT-PAL-Reg-0/dp/B001C42W40/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1256079755&sr=8-5
2) http://www.musicafilm.it/dvd-film/il-vento.html

Perhaps titoli can tell you more about the release.

« Last Edit: October 21, 2009, 09:44:26 AM by Hordak » Logged



No matter how cleverly you sneak up on a mirror, the reflection always looks you straight in the eye.
Novecento
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1516



View Profile
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2009, 05:43:09 PM »

Now, as I said, I've never heard of this until I read it on the internet, and am therefore skeptic about that whole ''popular belief'' thing. I could be wrong, perhaps some of you here on the board can correct me, but if I've never heard of something, how can it be part of ''popular belief''? Unless, of course, I was living in isolation on a mountain, and somehow missed it. In that case I apologize.

Yeh, that's news to me too. Thanks for posting Hordak; very interesting read.

Logged
Groggy
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11458


This post gets Agnew's stamp of approval!


View Profile WWW
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2009, 05:49:45 PM »

Frayling (apparently working off a Bertolucci comment) is the one who makes the claim about The Wind having nothing to do with Sweetwater in OUATITW. I don't know if it's "popular belief" except that I've heard it posited by a number of film buffs, as well as people on the Internet. I think we can safely put this assertion on ice.

Logged


Saturday nights with Groggy
Dust Devil
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3617


Smoke Tuco, so you can't bullshit!


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2009, 09:42:00 AM »

Yeh, that's news to me too. Thanks for posting Hordak; very interesting read.

 Afro

Frayling (apparently working off a Bertolucci comment) is the one who makes the claim about The Wind having nothing to do with Sweetwater in OUATITW. I don't know if it's "popular belief" except that I've heard it posited by a number of film buffs, as well as people on the Internet. I think we can safely put this assertion on ice.

Where does he say it? In one of his books?

I've never heard anyone in real life talking about the connection between The Wind and Once Upon a Time in the West, I did however hear a lot of pseudo-expert talk like: ''Yeah, Sergio Leone's OUATITW was made of ideas stolen from many other movies, American Westerns in particular.'', but once you'd ask them to name the particular movies, they'd go tilt. Of course when cornered like that some would try to get out saying they can't remember the titles of those very ''early movies'', but I'm pretty certain The Wind never came out of someone's mouth. They couldn't tell the connections with 'newer' AWs, let alone about a nearly forgotten silent picture.

I don't know on what ground Frayling ruled out that possibility but I agree we should put it on ice. As I said, when watching TW thinking of OUATITW was probably the last thing on my mind, yet I sensed the similarity almost instantly. This is very interesting stuff, if there's any possibility more members of this board should watch TW and report back here. To clean out the doubt.



P.S. A couple of goodies more to come.

« Last Edit: October 21, 2009, 09:43:15 AM by Hordak » Logged



No matter how cleverly you sneak up on a mirror, the reflection always looks you straight in the eye.
Groggy
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11458


This post gets Agnew's stamp of approval!


View Profile WWW
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2009, 10:04:25 AM »

It was in Something to Do With Death, but I don't have the book on me and can't provide a page number. My memory needs thawing.

« Last Edit: October 21, 2009, 10:21:21 AM by Mr. Freeze » Logged


Saturday nights with Groggy
Dust Devil
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3617


Smoke Tuco, so you can't bullshit!


View Profile
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2009, 11:25:15 AM »

Here's something more that occurred to me while watching TW.

Somewhere in the beginning of the movie (as Letty is just beginning her journey into madness), Lige (at that point just her chauffeur), talking about the devilish wind (called ''North Wind'' or ''Norther'') tells her of an Indian legend:









Later, as the wind continues, the ''ghost horse'' or ''white horse'' becomes a frequent protagonist of her haunting illusions:






This reminded me a lot of the white unicorn Deckard is dreaming of in Blade Runner. It is not part of Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and I can't remember a movie before BR in which it was used in a similar way.

« Last Edit: October 21, 2009, 11:27:14 AM by Hordak » Logged



No matter how cleverly you sneak up on a mirror, the reflection always looks you straight in the eye.
cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Online Online

Posts: 12595


easy come easy go


View Profile
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2009, 07:24:49 PM »

Ok maybe I missed it but exactly where did you find this to watch?

Logged

"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
Dust Devil
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3617


Smoke Tuco, so you can't bullshit!


View Profile
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2009, 09:18:38 PM »

Ok maybe I missed it but exactly where did you find this to watch?

What do you care where I got it from? I thought you asked where you can get it? Huh

Anyway, I got mine, which is the Italian 2007 release, from a friend. I can't tell you much more that this little I found on the net (and posted in one of the posts above) because I got only the disc, without the keep case. That's why I said the best thing for you, in case you were interested in buying it, would be to ask titoli; he might know more about this, and could find more informations easier than me. Smiley

« Last Edit: October 21, 2009, 09:23:25 PM by Hordak » Logged



No matter how cleverly you sneak up on a mirror, the reflection always looks you straight in the eye.
cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Online Online

Posts: 12595


easy come easy go


View Profile
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2009, 09:34:37 PM »

Quote
What do you care where I got it from? I thought you asked where you can get it?

It was an innocent question like a store or on line site, I would think it was the same difference, I'm not the DVD police  Wink

« Last Edit: October 21, 2009, 09:54:59 PM by cigar joe » Logged

"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
Dust Devil
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3617


Smoke Tuco, so you can't bullshit!


View Profile
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2009, 09:58:47 PM »

To clear it out - a friend found it somewhere and gave it to me. Don't know where exactly did he find cause I forgot to ask. (It was about a year ago, and the movie came out in 2007.)

In Europe you can sometimes find DVDs for small money if they came out with a newspaper or something like that, some sort of ''special release'' if you like, you can usually buy them at newsstands/kiosks. The quality of the movies is usually OK, like on a ''normal'' DVD, but they don't have the special features and are sold without the keep case (not always but usually). Mostly older movies. If a certain period of time passes and nobody buys them, the sellers lower the prices to get rid of them even more - pile them high and sell them cheap. So, you have somebody that buys a ton of these movies and gives them around for other movies he/she doesn't have, or as a present.

« Last Edit: October 21, 2009, 10:35:50 PM by Hordak » Logged



No matter how cleverly you sneak up on a mirror, the reflection always looks you straight in the eye.
Pages: [1] 2 Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Visit FISTFUL-OF-LEONE.COM

Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
Page created in 0.041 seconds with 20 queries.